Social Sciences Division REF 2021

The Social Sciences Division: REF 2021

REF 2021 Research excellence framework

The UK funding bodies have published the results of the UK's most recent national research assessment exercise, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The University of Oxford’s Social Sciences Division returned the majority of its REF submission to Main Panel C (social sciences), featuring research from more than 800 researchers (with a full time equivalent of 787.86) across a diverse range of subject area ‘units of assessment’ – from geography and business to archaeology and law.

Over 55% of the research submitted across Main Panel C from the Division was judged to be world-leading (4*, the highest score available). More than two-thirds (69%) of the research’s impact was also recognised as world-leading (4*) across all units of assessment in the panel, highlights of which can be found below.

Research from across the Division was also submitted to subject areas across Panels A (Medicine, health and life sciences), B (Physical sciences, engineering and mathematics), and D (Arts and Humanities), highlighting the enormous breadth and diversity of research expertise across the Division.

Professor Timothy Power, Head of the Social Sciences Division, said

'Today marks the pinnacle of a huge team effort by hundreds of our researchers and professional support staff over the last few years.

I am delighted that the results reflect our world-leading research excellence in Social Sciences – but also that our submission captured the extraordinary vibrancy and breadth of the research environment here at Oxford as well as the very real difference our researchers are making to society.

I am very grateful to everyone across the Division – past and present – who have contributed to achieving these results with such distinction.'

Professor Heather Viles, Associate Head of Division (Research), said

'The REF 2021 results demonstrate the world-leading significance, originality, and rigour across the breadth of research expertise in Oxford’s Social Sciences. But they also reflect how engaged Oxford’s researchers are with the world around us; sharing their expertise through collaborations with non-academic partners in industry, policy, and community organisations in ways that deliver real benefit to wider society. I echo Professor Power in extending my sincere thanks to everyone who worked so tirelessly on REF for the Division.'

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Read the University's statement on REF2021